Most Ancient Cave Artists Were Probably Women
Researcher studies stenciled hands, thinks they're female
By John Johnson, Newser Staff
Posted Oct 10, 2013 3:40 PM CDT
Updated Oct 13, 2013 7:00 PM CDT
This file photo shows stenciled hands the El Castillo Cave of Spain.   (AP Photo/Pedro Saura, AAAS)

(Newser) – A Penn State archeologist has floated an intriguing theory about ancient cave art: He thinks most of the artists were women. If true, it would upend long-held notions about cave paintings given that they often depict hunts and animals, and have been traditionally ascribed to ancient men, reports National Geographic. The new theory comes about from a relatively simple study: Dean Snow's team measured the fingers of stenciled hands found in caves throughout Europe and concluded that three-quarters of them belonged to women.

Generally speaking, women have ring and index fingers of about the same length, unlike men, and that turns out to be even more pronounced in our prehistoric ancestors, says Snow. In other words, he's positive that most of these hands belong to women. "There has been a male bias in the literature for a long time," he says. "People have made a lot of unwarranted assumptions about who made these things, and why." If it holds up, the research could change ideas about traditional gender roles in ancient societies, observes the International Business Times. (Another recent archeology find: Spices were being used in cooking 6,000 years ago.)

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Showing 3 of 79 comments
Toon
Oct 14, 2013 9:15 AM CDT
Another bit of circumstantial evidence, where is the porn? Men think about women a lot. If men had painted these pictures then wouldn't they also have painted pictures of women?
JT119
Oct 14, 2013 5:03 AM CDT
"There has been a male bias in the literature for a long time," There have been a male bias in history, because it's HIS-STORY the man is always telling the story and it always make him the hero or give him the advantage. It's like the news media in the United States, whites are in control so most of what you see you see and hear is whites doing all the good and blacks doing all the bad
True-News
Oct 14, 2013 2:30 AM CDT
Seems sad or maybe pathetic that an “educated” person floats any theory with this many obvious problems. Have to state a couple, since the “Penn State floater” doesn't appear to have even the most primitive ability to reason. #1 -the person that did the “art” doesn't have to be the owner of the hand. #2- Both men and women have hands, that the fingers in question are of the same length and both sexes have fingers of different lengths. #3 The error of presupposition about the hands of women and men is astounding! Educated and ignorant people still believe the the unproven and false theory of evolution. The geological record proves evolution of species never occured and recent human DNA mapping proves the evolutionary theory is completly false and impossible. Then we have global warming caused by man, as per the Al Gore philosophy of the “the road to riches”; Though Most haven't made a personal fortune,as much as he has. A lot more could be said but not worth time it would take.